Posted by Ty Hall
The bullet ant—Paraponera clavata—or lesser giant hunting ant, has a sting that is ranked the most painful according to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. It is described as causing "waves of burning, throbbing, all-consuming pain that continues unabated for up to 24 hours.” These ants are sedated and woven into a pair of gloves made from leaves, with their stingers facing inward. Young boys will thrust their hands inside these gloves for a full five minutes or more, with no relief from the pain but the singing and dancing going on around them. This is the onboarding process for young men of the Sateré-Mawé tribe in Amazonas, Brazil.
Becoming a new member of a group doesn’t have to be difficult, scary, or painful. Unfortunately, misguided ideas of what onboarding should be, tends to make the process uncomfortable. These are three common mistakes that, if not addressed, can make your onboarding process almost as bad as the Sateré-Mawés’.
- Overloading: Trying to cover an extensive amount of company information in a day is not only ambitious, but also ineffective. Like a swarm of ants, all this new information will bombard the new hire with HR policies, roles and responsibilities, details of the company’s mission, etc. There’s a lot of pressure placed on these new employees already, and by the end ofthe day, odds are they will have failed to retain most of the information.
- Onboarding in a day: Programs that fail to extend the onboarding training beyond a couple of workshops might hurt the employees’ chances of properly assimilating into the company. Like the boy who stuck his hand in the glove, the pain and swelling continues long after the initiation ritual is over. Make sure to be there to offer support past the first day.
- One-size-fits-all approach: Having a one-size-fits-all learning approach might seem to be the most cost-efficient way of transferring knowledge to new employees; however, it’s a critical mistake when the diversity of new hires is not taken into account. There may be only one glove, but that doesn’t mean everyone can handle the fit.
The first day on the job is scary enough—there’s a lot to learn and a lot to remember— but onboarding doesn’t have to be painful or scary. Too much, too soon, too unsuited, is a bad combination of onboarding mistakes; like sticking your hand in a glove made of bullet ants.
Companies who implement an effective onboarding program during the first three months of new-hire employment experience 31 percent less turnover than those who don’t. Are your hiring and onboarding processes costing you unnecessarily? Don’t let your company become another statistic! You can also use an onboarding survey to objectively determine if you are meeting the needs of the new employee during the first three months, enabling you to proactively keep them engaged and retained for the long haul.
Selection and onboarding is an important part of every company. With the constant growth and development in technology and a diverse working population, attracting and retaining the best people is becoming significantly more difficult; companies are now being forced to update their onboarding programs.
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- Why You Should Implement an Onboarding Program
- 5 Factors of a Successful Onboarding Process
- How to Get a Great Return on Your Training and Development Investment
- Slow and Steady Wins the [Talent Management] Race